MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C.- --
More than 1,000 voices echoed through the Two Rivers Theater as
Marines, Sailors and community members sang along to holiday music at Marine
Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Dec. 4.
Marines with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band shared laughs and
cheers with the community as they held their annual Christmas concert at the
“We rehearse for this event up to a month in advance,” said Lance
Cpl. Joshua Ochoa, a trumpet player with the 2nd MAW Band. “A lot of hard work
and long hours are put into the production of this concert. This is a way that
we as musicians can give back to our military and civilian community.”
Audience members of all ages listened to well-known holiday songs
as they shared the evening getting into the holiday spirit.
“Events like these give people an opportunity to experience some
of the great things the Marine Corps has to offer the community,” explained Gunnery
Sgt. Christopher Dwyer, the enlisted conductor with the 2nd MAW Band. “As
musicians, we are ambassadors for the Corps and we are constantly out in the
public eye. It makes people less hesitant and afraid of the military by knowing
the different things the Marine Corps is involved in.”
According to Cpl. Gregory Carlo, an administration specialist
with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron here, the concert is also a way for
service members to share in the festivities even when stationed hundreds of miles
from friends and family during the holiday season.
“A lot of people do not go home for the holidays and stay at the
air station or local area,” said Carlo. “Some of us live on opposite sides of
the country and cannot spend holidays with loved ones. It is great to have a
way to surround yourself with people who want to celebrate and come together
for greater causes."
The concert also provided a collection point for Toys for Tots
"There are a lot of kids out there who have less than what I
did growing up and I think Toys for Tots is a good way for people to remember
Christmas is also about giving back to others,” said Carlo.
“Events like the Christmas concert give Marines a home away from
home,” said Carlo. “Service members dedicate 365 days of the year to the vows
they have taken to defend their nation. The concert is a way to step back from
work and enjoy a moment while being surrounded by positive energy.”
Dwyer agreed, saying, “The Marines here with the 2nd MAW Band are
just as excited to perform as the audience members are to hear us perform. We
have all had to share holidays away from home and know what it is like to get
caught up in our normal lives. The band members put in countless hours to make
events such as these memorable and I am very proud of their dedication to our
fellow Marines and families.”